Flo-Joe for Cambridge English Exams

Cambridge English: First

Discover some of the common structures tested in the Use of English Key Word Transformations task

FCE Use of English: Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

About Part 4 Key Word Transformations


You will be given a complete sentence followed by a second, incomplete sentence. You must complete the second sentence so that it has the same meaning as the first using a word given that must not be changed. There are 6 sentences in total. In the exam you transfer your answer to a special answer sheet. Part 4 tests your knowledge of grammar and vocabulary. It is impossible to predict areas that you could be tested on here. However, the categories listed below appear quite often.
Key Word Transformation video tutorial

Now try our exercises


1. Comparative/Superlative
Structures like so/such .., er/as ... as or too/enough often appear in this exercise.
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2. Passive
Changes from active to passive or passive to active are often required.
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3. Direct and Indirect Speech
You are sometimes asked to transform a sentence from direct speech to indirect speech or from indirect to direct speech.
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4. Auxiliary verbs
You will often find questions that test your knowledge of auxiliary verbs like 'will', 'have', 'must' etc.
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5. Conditionals
Any type of conditional sentence is likely to appear in this part of Paper 3.
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6. 'Unreal' past tenses
You will sometimes find sentences using 'If only ...', 'I wish ...', I'd rather ...' etc that require the use of past tenses.
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7. Verb patterns
Your knowledge of verb patterns such as gerund and infinitive is frequently tested.
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8. Phrasal Verbs
Sentences requiring phrasal verbs often appear in this section.
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9. Practice
In most of the exercises above you have had to make ONE change to the sentence, for example making an active sentence passive. However, in the exam you may have to make TWO changes to the sentence, for example changing active to passive AND using a phrasal verb.
Online Exercise | Print Version

Dos and don'ts


Remember to put the prompt word in your answer and do not to change this word. Don't write more than five words (contractions, e.g. 'I'm', count as two words). Don't leave the answer sheet blank for any question. If you don't know the correct answer you should always make a guess.

How to improve


If you get a sentence wrong, rewrite the correct structure in a way that has personal meaning.

Try a test


Try an online Reading and Use of English Part 4 (Key Word Transformations) test in the 'Practice Tests' area.



Print off a mark sheet to keep a record of your scores.

When you've finished these exercises try an online Use of English Part 5 (Key Word Transformations) test in the 'Practice Tests' area.

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